What You Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act

Monday, April 28, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

The Affordable Care Act looks like its here to stay, so what do you need to know about it? You need to know how it works, what impact it will have on your life, and what you should do if you plan to take advantage of the services it provides you.

What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

The law is certainly complex, but this article will help break it down for you into manageable bites.

  • How The ACA Works

    As a law, the Affordable Care Act requires Americans to have health insurance coverage by some means. These means can include purchasing insurance on the private market, signing up for Medicaid, or signing up for government coverage through the federal and state ACA websites.

    The ACA will penalize you if you do not sign up for health insurance through one of these methods.

    A network of state exchanges help people buy insurance that meets federal guidelines, which are designed to eliminate negative aspects of the health insurance market overall.

    For instance, a significant problem before the ACA was the fact that most private health care plans did not cover pre-existing conditions, which left a lot of people relying on emergency room services for their healthcare.

  • What Impact It Will Have On You

    Not every state in the Union expanded Medicaid as required under the law, because the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that requirement.

    As a result, only 27 states expanded Medicaid coverage. This means that, depending on what state you live in, your options may be more or less flexible than if you lived in another state.

    If your income is at or below about 130% of the federal poverty level, generally speaking, you might consider signing up for Medicaid anyway, even if your state has not expanded the program.

  • What You Should Do About it

    If your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you are likely eligible for government subsidies in the form of tax credits.

    You may wish to consult a tax professional to determine the exact subsidy you would receive and any penalty you would pay if you did not sign up for coverage.

    If you are not eligible for subsidies, and you cannot afford private insurance, it may be wise to simply pay the penalty this year and get covered next year, again, depending on your situation.

  • The Bottom Line

    It is better to have coverage when needed than not. Consider investigating whether you are eligible for subsidies. The ACA may help you get the coverage you need.

    Whether you are currently without a job, or perhaps searching for a Sunshine retirement living community to live out the rest of your days, you should know what you might be eligible for so you can better the situation you are currently in.

The Affordable Care Act might seem confusing now, but once you break down what it is actually doing for you, it will be easier to find out what you need to know.

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